Wednesday, June 18, 2008

For a long time you’d let yourself be intimidated by my intellectual arrogance; you felt that was my way of showing a grasp of theory that you couldn’t match. Little by little, you refused to let yourself be swayed. Better yet: you rebelled against theoretical constructs and especially against statistics.

Statistics as a discipline was even less convincing, you said, than theory, as figures only made sense when they were interpreted. You argued that such interpretations can’t lay claim to the mathematical rigour statistics based its authority on.

I needed theory to structure my thinking and I used to object that unstructured thought always runs the risk of degenerating into insignificant, empirical anecdote. You replied that theory always runs the risk of blinding us to the shifting complexities of the real world.

You didn’t need cognitive sciences to know that without intuition or emotion, there can be no intelligence or meaning.

André Gorz, in
Letter to D (pages 57-58)

Translated by
Julie Ross

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